Savior or Villain? A Corpus Stylistic Approach to the Linguistic Construction of Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence in Westworld

  • Patricia Palomino-Manjón Universitat de València


This paper explores how the identity of victim-survivors of sexual violence is portrayed in the dystopian TV series Westworld (2016-present) by analyzing the linguistic characterization of the lead female character, Dolores Abernathy. To do so, this paper adopts a mixed methodology which combines corpus stylistics and Appraisal Theory with a feminist critical reading of the results in order to examine the textual cues in Dolores’ dialogue which characterize her journey from being a victim to becoming an empowered being. The results of the analysis show that the series features a misappropriation of female empowerment and liberation since Dolores presents a masculinization of her fictional identity which mirrors patriarchal practices and attitudes against women.

Author Biography

Patricia Palomino-Manjón, Universitat de València
Patricia Palomino-Manjón is currently a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at the Universitat de València and a member of the Interuniversity Institute of Applied Modern Languages (IULMA).Her major research interests are digital discourse and gender and sexuality. She has presented on sexual violence and female empowerment in digital and fictional discourses at several international conferences, and she has also published on the topic in different journals.


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